Friday, June 17, 2011

Super heroes give me headache thinking next game

So, when we finish our current Vampire: the Masquerade campaign, we will play Mutants & Masterminds. But I got one major problem. My jar of Gamemastering is empty for this genre. I have collected and read lots of supers comics when I was a kid. So I know the basics. And I have seen many new superhero movies. Many of them are really good. Like Watchmen and Iron Man movies. Also, Mutants & Masterminds rulebook itself is a great book for superheroes and full of ideas.

Still, I don't have any single idea what I want to run or how.

I am still waiting for my player to create character concept. That would help a lot. When I know what kind of character player wants to play, it is easier to tailor the adventure around her character's concept. So, I am waiting for that at the moment to have some kind of a clue.

But main problem is what I would like to run. I would like to run more gritty superhero game, where hero is not planet busting, flying and laser shooting mega-human. I would like character to be more down to earth type, maybe just slightly above normal people. Like avenger of her own, or fighter of justice in smaller league. It would be great when world wouldn't be full of superheroes running wild and doing their super-stuff and every corner isn't full of super antagonists. That's what I would like to run. Also, I'd like world to be dark like Gotham City or World of Darkness like.

Still, I have to erase above, because it wouldn't be different enough. We play lots of Vampire so basically my ideal superhero game would be Vampire: the Masquerade without fangs. Basically no problem with that because I do like stuff like that but what's the point then trying out new game if you just wrap it in same wrapping paper as other games I usually run? That's why I in the other hand want to run something totally different to make Mutants & Masterminds gaming experience something different. Different game with different game. Not just slightly different modifications in same setting what we usually play.

So, what I should do is run cartoonish colorful superhero game with character who has these neat powers and who is way above normal people. That would be different, that character would be someone who has potential and capability to make difference in the city. Normal police operation to free hostages in bank robbery would be blasting in, lasering mobs and being a tabloid hero of the day. That kind of stuff. And climax would be battle against superhero villain with evil masterplan!

How would it go? Few sessions normal cases where superhero can do his superhero stuff and be awesome. Player would enjoy that because his character would be superior to normal crooks. He would be cool. Also some drama to add. Maybe family, friends, lover, daytime job or something he must hide his super identity. So it would be fast paced action packed pwning against crooks while he has normal person issues when he is out of his costume. Sounds good to me. And maybe I could tie all individual crooks and happenings in same plot and behind all those is main villain. Who of course is up to something bad what would affect whole city if he succeeds.

But what would be that mega evil plan behind all those smaller incidents? That is something I have to work out. Normal robberies would be all tied to that mega plan because that antagonist needs something to finish his evil device, what would do mind slaves of all citizens? Hmm... I have seen that story somewhere in the movies or comics. But as my player is not as familiar with superhero genre maybe it could work. It would be so basic superhero adventure that it could very well be my first Mutants & Masterminds adventure ever. Don't see need here to invent whole wheel again and do some great thinking for supers adventure, but I could very well go with the stereotypics and run that.

Maybe that is good reason to write Mutants & Masterminds adventure. Make it stereotypical superhero game. That would be different from what I usually run. Fast action, fancy costumes, secret identity, normal life issues, super antagonist with mega evil plan. I think I will go with that. Sounds superhero enough for me.


greywulf said...


How about running a 1930s era pulp action superhero game? This would give you a setting different to the modern-day Vampire setting, but with that gritty urban noire still in place.

Imagine if Raymond Chandler wrote Batman, and Superman came straight out of the Saturday morning old time TV serials. Check this excellent Superman Classic animated fan film for inspiration.

Just a thought. If you need any more help or suggestions, just ask :)

Unknown said...

@greywulf: That is actually really neat idea what I didn't consider at all. I have to give it a serious thought and ask my player how familiar she is with that kind of supers style. If she is not familiar at all with it, then I think it doesn't work as the effect you suggest it to be.

And thanks for that video too.